Our First Tulip Open Weekend at the nursery

Often times we get what we think are good ideas. And then we proceed to see what it takes to make them happen, and doubt over how good an idea it was in the first place starts creeping in!

Organising the nursery for unknown numbers of public is a rather serious task (as we found out!). As a certain Humphrey Appleby might say, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know!’, so trying to pre-empt everything that might crop up for a Tulip Open Weekend made our brains hurt several weeks ahead of the event.

One of the most distressing factors has been the weather. When the idea of the Tulip Open weekend came about, we did not factor in a spring like the one that is just about to finish. A week before the event we had about three varieties in flower (out of the 50 we were hoping to exhibit). Let me tell you, this made for a very stressful few days.

We planned for a separate display of leaf salads, and they did not seem much more forthcoming than the tulips were. But we ploughed on with finishing the new fruit cage and emptying the glasshouse to install our charity fundraising café.

The big weekend came. By this point, a few more tulip varieties decided to play ball and started colouring up. Our fortunes with the weather were mixed: Saturday was a beautiful, glorious day with everyone happy to soak up the atmosphere. Sunday brought us sharply back to our local weather reality, with an overcast sky and a few drops of rain.

To summarize the event, we were delighted to see the several hundreds of people that came to see the tulip displays over the weekend. We were particularly delighted to see a number of very local people for the first time at the nursery, and look forward to seeing lots of tulips grown next spring.

In addition to the customers, good old friends surprised us with a visit – and that is always very nice!

The Café was good fun to run and well enjoyed by everyone. We would like to thank our chief bakers Susan, Ellie and Andrew, and also our fabulous volunteers Janet, Anne-Marie, Andreea, Dawood, Ellie, Sue and Josie. Over the weekend we raised a fantastic £306.25 which will be split between the two charities we support – Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Motivation Foundation Romania. We are extremely grateful for your generosity!

We were also very happy that we managed to stick to our no-plastic mission for the café. The few paper plates we used will be composted on site and the crockery will be stored away for future events.

Despite some doubts during the process of organising the event, we have now decided that it was, after all, a good idea to organise the Tulip Open Weekend at the nursery and we look forward to organising another one next year!